winter solstice 2020

the moon reflects–
caught between inside and out
returning the light

For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge collection, I have chosen #170, Solstice II, December 19th. These are photos I took of the moon, which appeared briefly that night between the buildings. The clouds soon moved in, dashing any hopes of seeing the two planets in conjunction.

What most interested me about the photos was that the half moon appeared most clearly as a reflection caught in the glass of my window. Perhaps that’s all we can really hope to see this year–a mirrored image capturing what fleetingly enters our field of vision if we are lucky enough to be looking that way.

Between

between full comp

The path connects the path divides,
the sky is rising like a tree–
the ending moves, retreats, and hides
what is, is not, has yet to be.

The sky is rising like a tree,
the land grows, following behind
what is, is not, has yet to be–
an offering returned in kind.

The land grows, following behind
the dance of water, spirits, earth–
an offering returned in kind–
a trance, a dream, remembered birth.

A dance of water, spirits, earth–
the ending moves, retreats and hides
a trance, a dream, remembered birth–
the path connects the path divides.

A pantoum for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I love the rhythm of circular dance that this form always evokes for me.

between close up wood s

I photographed the art on many many backgrounds; it looked different on each one.  But I kept going back to these two:  vivid blue and wood floor.  Each brings out a different aspect of the painting/collage.

between close up blue s

This is a reblog from February 2018. Sue’s prompts have inspired a lot of work that holds up for me when I look back at it. Her photos are always magical.

Linking to earthweal Open Link Weekend.

december morning

The Oracle was feeling mellow this morning. I can use some mellow.

This photo was taken out my window of last month’s (nearly) full moon.

here beneath this thick blue
winter world
I watch the murmur
of almost dawn

seeds rooted in the night
tendriling a path through
dark into day

I follow still
spirited full with secrets
breathed by the moon

innervisions

yellow
mellow moon
is the color

blue
velvet moon
is the color

red
blood moon
is the color

green
–not easy–
(but then nothing ever)

is (quite) the color
of the amphibious moon
music of my mind

Mention a color, and all kinds of music comes into my mind. Grace at dVerse has us thinking about musical synesthesia. Stevie Wonder has it. It has nothing to do with the vision of your eyes.

Traveling in the Wilderness

Mid the woods,
snowdusk shadows are
spare–lovely
but cold, dark,
clinging like shaded brume and
wandering silent and deep.

Drawn here but
not belonging, I
do not have
promises
of morning or an end to
this vigil I keep

of if and
beyond—all those miles
now lost to
me.  I go
in circles of before–I
beg the night for sleep.

The Kick-About prompt this week was the last 4 lines of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. I was struggling with my poem, a shovel poem (using the words of Frost’s lines as the last words in the lines of my poem) in the shadorma form, when Sarah at dVerse posted her prompt suggesting titles taken from “Surfacing” by Kathleen Jamie. The idea of traveling in the wilderness helped me find a focus.

I had already spent a long time fooling around with the art. The diorama I planned didn’t work out as I expected, but I liked the background paintings I did more than I thought I would.

Done on very wet rice paper, with black ink and silver and pearl metallic watercolor, they had much more of the feeling of Frost’s words than I expected. The diorama on the other hand, failed to match my vision, and I took 50 photos to come up with just a few that I liked.

Still I learned from the experience, including how natural light is much more blue than that from my drawing table lamp which has a yellow cast.

And I got a surprise in the monoprint that emerged from under one of the wet rice paper paintings which also seemed to capture well the feeling of my poem.

spirits of place

infused with
what?  forms shimmering,
unfocused,
almost not
there—breaking into bits of
color, sprinkled light–

watching the
air, you can’t quite be
lieve, place, what
you thought you
saw, significant portions
of which have faded

into blurred
memories that have
discarded
their presence–
the lost and found of the mind,
a vast space without

an index–
tangled up with myth,
stray remnants
dismissed as
merely imagination–
how do we discern

what is true?
maybe what is real
is really
made up—all
wrapped together in spirits
that are beyond sense

Brendan at earthweal discussed land-spirits and asked us to write about a local spirit. My locale has been NYC for 50 years, but within the city it has been constantly on the move. I thought first of birds and trees, which made me think of my own trees that move with me from place to place. My lemon trees are nearly 30 years old, grown from seeds planted by my older daughter as a young child. I also have a corn plant tree, rescued from the basement discard room in an apartment building I lived in briefly about 15 years ago.

tree sprit face tree 3s

I carry their spirits with me, but I have also given them form from time to time. Like the plants, they provide companionship and continuity, a living connection to reciprocal relationships that exist without needing any specific place or time.

tree sprit face tree s

on a clear night the moon shines full into my window

august moon jupiter s

Jupiter swimming
in the wake of August moon–
clouds whisper sky sea

memories of ocean blue tides
rising almost full at dusk

august moon blue s2

Jupiter is really bright in the night sky these days.  A few days ago it moved right above the moon across the sky.  The night before that the moon rose luminous in the blue dusk.

august moon yellow s

Last night it was a beautiful gold, but my close up turned it white.

august moon white s

For Frank Tassone #haikai challenge, Sturgeon moon, and Peter Frankis at dVerse, looking out the window.

august moon city s

 

the ancient shores of galaxies still call

printed geese 1s

I stand facing the ocean
tides of wing and air–
time fades into mystery,
emptied of illusions

sea sketch 2s

tides of wing and air
held in light–
emptied of illusions
I swim in dream languages

forms die s

held in light
horizon merges into skylandsea–
I swim in dream languages,
wordless songs that awaken stories

elaborate music s

 

horizon merges into skylandsea
consumed by rivers of stars–
wordless songs that awaken stories
mirrored in ethereal blue

ocean pencil drawing s

consumed by rivers of stars
time fades into mystery–
mirrored in ethereal blue
I stand facing the ocean

blue 2s

For earthweal, sacred (sea)scapes.  How many poems have I written about the sea?  As many as I have about birds and stars and moons.  This unrhymed pantoum contains lines from many of them.  The artwork is from my many previous ocean-themed posts as well.

July 4 Moon

cloud over full moon s

darkness plays with clouds
illuminated edges
hint at full moon

fireworks full moon s

Who needs Macy’s?  For weeks, the neighborhood has been in full fireworks mode, with displays launching from both sidewalks and the rooftops of at least 5 surrounding buildings.  Last night they were still going off at 5am.  Strangely, I’ve learned to sleep (mostly) through them.

fireworks full moon 2s

So the moon had to compete with both on and off cloudcover and the rocket’s red glare…

full moon half s

I wonder if it will be quiet tonight…(not really…this will go on for a few more weeks I’m sure…it hasn’t been this noisy in June and July since the 70s)

For Frank Tassone’s #haikai challenge, buck moon.